Last week saw representatives from seven construction companies join a training session with CARE to learn about gender and the benefits of valuing female workers on construction sites.
Attendees represented some of the largest construction developments across Phnom Penh and were joined by two representatives of the Cambodian Constructors Association. During the day they explored how gender relates to Cambodian Labor Law and Occupational Health & Safety.
CARE is working to improve the situation of female construction workers, with the financial support of the European Union and the Austrian Development Cooperation, and has a particular focus on issues which disproportionately affect female workers—estimated at 30% of the workforce.
Attendees joined a number of exercises which allowed them to explore what gender means and highlight common views of men and women in the workplace. Staff at the training were struck by the different views construction companies have of women and men as employees in this sector.
At the beginning of the day, when asked about what they like about men and women in the workplace, participants said they liked men because they are strong, whereas it is nice to employ women as they are pretty and friendly so men like to have them around. By the end of the sessions people acknowledged that women as well as men should be valued for their abilities and contributions in the workplace rather than their appearance.
CARE hopes to address social norms which undervalue women’s contribution and result in women having less ability to demonstrate their value as workers. “Today I gained more knowledge about working conditions and female issues in the construction site, especially safety and unequal pay for female employees if compared to men,” shared one participant.
Many participants said that they had significantly improved their understanding of women’s working conditions and safety in the workplace through this day with CARE.
CARE’s work to ensure female construction workers are valued as equals is supported by the European Union and the Austrian Development Cooperation. Learn more about the Female Construction Workers project >